Sunday, 3 November 2013

A Wasted Crisis?

So yesterday I had a wasted Crisis, but in the positive sense of the word: three Leffe Blond got me quite happy in the late afternoon. But it was mostly talking to some people I had been looking forward to meet.

Leo explaining the Samurai game to Bert and Jan-Willem
First of all, I had great time in the car with Dick, Michel and Hans, discussing games and possible purchases. Dick, thanks for the lift! At the TFL stand I finally met Sidney Roundwood, who was very generous in more than one way. Can´t wait to get to the UK once more. There's a not so flattering pic of us on the Pijlie's blog. That post is a nice reflection on Crisis as well.

At the well attended meeting with members of the Dutch Miniature Wargames facebook group, I spoke to Julius, who will be off to Turkey for four years. And Fred, who's just moved to Amersfoort. I finally  handed René the copy of Okko I promised him a year ago. It was good to see Leo, Arvid, Jan-Willem, Bert and Joop having so much fun at the Samurai participation game at the Karawansaray stand.

Arvid on the right, also in explanatory mode.
Joop on the left composing a Haiku
Gerrit told me about the differences between paper, wood and resin buildings. Duncan had noticed my purchase of Haïtian revolutionaries and maroons and was demanding a follow up article. Jasper divulged that the book on the Duke of Alva that I'm looking forward will be presented in Madrid in three weeks to to one of his offspring. The most awesome news I got was that Neil had taken two young kids into his care. A very brave and very admirable thing to do!

I spent much of the afternoon getting to know Mats and Jos in the bar. Discussion ranged from maroons to 17th century flags to the Hoeken & Kabeljauwen to public relations and the raising of somebody else's kids. We seemed to agree on the 'state of the hobby' which is characterised by many willing to create valuable things for nothing and many willing to pay too much for very little. Think of the brilliant stuff put online for (almost) free and the prices people are willing to pay for GW stuff.

That is not a market in which many people can make a living. For most of the miniature manufacturers, rules designers and small publishers it is more a work of love in their spare time rather than a good living. The hourly 'wages' are only acceptable because it is something they love doing and the recognition they get from buyers and players. That also means that their web shops are occasionally badly done, that they have no presence on social media, that you can only pay cash at their stands. All of that costs them customers.

Some small shops will keep coming and going. Occasionally one will rise above the amateurism and take a significant slice of the pie, like Fantasy Flight and Z-Man in boardgames or Battlefront in miniatures. But Mats was right when he raised questions on the long term future of wargaming if miniature manufacturers, writers and publishers fail to link up to the experiences of new generations of gamers.  It's not lethal to the hobby I guess, but the Golden Age we seem to experience right now, might be one that doesn't last forever.

A better look at the beautiful table
This blog is characteristically short of images. I just didn't take many as I spent more time talking that walking aroudn. You can see all the pretty stuff at the blogs of Little Lions and Paint In.

20 comments:

  1. It was a nice day, and ashame I didn't meet all of you.
    But better luck next year, or drop by on FIGZ 2014.
    In the first Picture you can also see Benno from bennosfiguresforum.com, he is standing next to Bert

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Remco,

      welcome to the blog. There were a lot more people around than I had time to talk. Next time!

      Delete
  2. Hi Jur, nice pictures and as always a good report too! I find your Blog very interesting and great to read the articles! Greetings, Bert

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Bert,

      that's very kind of you to say. Good to see you as well.

      Delete
  3. I think you make a good point about smaller companies looks like a good show I am looking forward to attending next year
    Peace James

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi James,

      hope to see you there and have a chat.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thanks JW

      not so much about the show, though ;-)

      Delete
  5. One day the Reject will make it over to Crisis......I hope!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No Ray, think again!!

      If you come once, you might enjoy it and have to come back again for the next dozen years.

      Delete
  6. Looking forward to this when we bring the Bloggers for charity game over

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andrew,

      That is one that will set my heart a few paces faster, as I'm very interested in the F&IW. So I'm definitely going to negotiate to have that Saturday available. And you also seem like a bunch of nice guys who I'd enjoy drinking a Leffe with.

      Delete
  7. Maybe that will be my set up for next year: I rent a table in the bar for the whole day and have people come by and talk to me. Easy to find and I arrange continuous supply of Leffe. Busiest table of the day ;-)

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  8. It was nice to meet you there !

    Cheers
    Stefan

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  9. It was great to meet you, also, Jur! Sadly, I forgot to get a photo, which is unforgiveable. Ah well, there's always next time! Thanks again for all your help and generosity with the Great War material. Hope to see you soon when you're next in London. Best regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we'll get a better picture next then!

      Delete
  10. Thanks for sharing! I put you on my list of people I have to meet next year!

    Greetings
    Peter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Peter,

      That´s good to hear! I´ll have to think of a way to create more time to talk next year, but still keep some time to walk around and maybe buy something. It would have to be something creative...

      Delete
    2. One way to do that is to organize a meeting point and hour. We did that with the Benno's Figures Forum and it worked very well! Lot's of time left to walk around and buy good stuff! Thanks for joining my blog!

      Greetings
      Peter

      Delete
    3. As said, we had a meeting with the people of the Dutch miniatures facebook group. But given the number of people I was thinking now of just arranging a table in the café next year and just have people drop by while I keep up the supply of Leffe Blond

      Delete

I appreciate comments. Let me know what you think!